The latest version of Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve (8.1) features several significant improvements, including support for Apple Final Cut Pro X XML and Avid AAF round trips, writes David Fox.
Resolve 8.1 also includes new layer node composite effects, ACES colour space support, Final Cut Pro 7 clip size and position support, new copy commands for grades, upgraded EDL features, support for Blackmagic's own UltraStudio 3D Thunderbolt interface, and compatibility with the 2011 MacBook Pro 15-inch computer.
Resolve can now import and export Final Cut Pro X timelines using the new Final Cut Pro rich XML file format. When working in Final Cut Pro X, users will get full timeline round trip where projects can be moved between FCP X and Resolve, retaining the multi-track timeline with frame accurate cuts, dissolves and even speed changes. Resolve will also use rich XML from FCP X to link to original camera footage and supports full media management for FCP X projects including additional source clip folders and alternate image source when conforming edits in Resolve.
Because Resolve supports grading of high resolution and bit depth files, edits can be exported out of Final Cut Pro for finishing in the highest quality. An alternative workflow is to use Resolve 8.1 to manage extremely high resolution raw image formats such as Red, Arri, CinemaDNG and DNxHD and then to grade and render to ProRes or uncompressed media for FCP X.
Resolve 8.1's layer node composite effects offer colourists greater creative control of grading with add, subtract, difference, multiply, screen, overlay, darker and lighten effects. Colourists will be able to use these composite effects to create much more complex and intricate grades.
For high-end feature film work, Resolve 8.1 includes ACES colour space support. ACES and IIF is a new colour space and file format promoted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences technology committee to provide a universal and open image interchange and processing format. The ACES IIF file format is fully supported, and includes a variety of IDTs and ODTs as well as support for 3D shaper LUTs. Resolve 8.1 allows colourists to work in this format seamlessly, and even the cut-down, free of charge DaVinci Resolve Lite includes ACES colour space, so upcoming videographers will have access to the latest Hollywood technology.
To improve compatibility with Avid Media Composer, Resolve 8.1 has improved support for Avid AAF import/export for roundtrip editing to Resolve and back to Media Composer. This AAF support includes effects such as dip to colour, edge and centre wipe with border, clock and venetian blind wipe and also cross, oval and diamond iris wipe, overlay composite and more. It also includes support for Avid sizing with pan, tilt, zoom and rotate.
Additional support is included for Final Cut Pro 7 round tripping, with clip-by-clip selectable import of image sizing data now possible. Import sizing and position data for all or selected clips is available to allow renders using the high quality Resolve image resizing engine.
New cut, copy and paste operations for editing and node metadata including dynamics have been added, allowing much easier and faster editing of clips in the timeline and copying grades between nodes. Resolve 8.1 also includes new conform features including the abilities to export missing clips EDL and import new EDL to a track. This simplifies finding and replacing missing clips in long form projects, and is great for changing VFX shots. The update is also faster to use with a new 'hover over node' grading status display to reveal lists of changed grades within the node.
There is additional hardware support, including full compatibility with the Apple 2011 MacBook Pro 15-inch laptop with 1680x1050 display, as well as the new UltraStudio 3D for computers with Thunderbolt interfaces, allowing video monitoring and deck I/O from the latest iMac and MacBook Pro computers.
Other new features include: support for clip-by-clip scaled or unscaled data range colour space conversions; support for clip-by-clip colour space selection in case a source clip has been incorrectly encoded; renders now support video or data levels; and support for HDR source icons in the timeline thumbnail for Red HDRx clips.
The update is available as a free download to users of Resolve 8.